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Fact Sheet Article View

FACTSHEET | April 26, 2013

Cheyenne Mountain Complex

The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is located at Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station (CMSFS), a short distance from NORAD and USNORTHCOM headquarters at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. CMSFS is managed by Space Base Delta 1 (U.S. Space Force) at Peterson SFB, and hosts the activities of several tenant units. 

At the height of the Cold War in the late 1950s, the idea of a hardened command and control center was conceptualized as a defense against long-range Soviet bombers. The Army Corps of Engineers supervised the excavation of Cheyenne Mountain and the construction of an operational center within the granite mountain.  The Cheyenne Mountain facility became fully operational as the NORAD Combat Operations Center on April 20, 1966.

Over the years, the installation came to house elements of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Air Force Space Command and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). Under what became known as the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC), several centers supported the NORAD missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control and provided warning of ballistic missile or air attacks against North America.

NORAD's focus and facilities have both evolved to meet the asymmetric threats of the 21st century. On July 28, 2006, the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate was re-designated as the Cheyenne Mountain Division, with the mission to assist in establishing an integrated NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center within the headquarters building at Peterson Air Force Base. 

On the fiftieth anniversary of the NORAD agreement--May 12, 2008--the Command Center located within Cheyenne Mountain Complex was officially re-designated as the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Alternate Command Center.  The Cheyenne Mountain Division of NORAD and USNORTHCOM was re-designated as the J36 branch within the NORAD and USNORTHCOM's Operations Directorates.

Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station is owned and operated by Air Force Space Command.  In fact, NORAD and USNORTHCOM use just under 30% of the floor space within the complex and comprise approximately 5% of the daily population at Cheyenne Mountain.
Today, the Cheyenne Mountain Complex serves as NORAD and USNORTHCOM's Alternate Joint Operations Center and as a training site for crew qualification. Day-to-day crew operations for NORAD and USNORTHCOM typically take place at Peterson Space Force Base. Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station in managed by Space Base Delta 1 and hosts the activities of several tenant units. As of 2023, NORAD and USNORTHCOM use less than 30 percent of the floor space within the complex and comprise approximately 5 percent of the daily population at the CMC.

Quick Facts
Groundbreaking: June 19, 1961
Completion: Feb. 6, 1967
As NORAD Combat Operations Center: April 20, 1966
As NORAD alternate Joint Operations Center: May 12, 2008
No. of buildings inside: 15
Complex size: 5.1 acres
Total stone excavated: 693,000 ton sof granite
Mountain height: 9,565 feet
Total construction cost: $142.4 million
Current caretaker: Space Base Delta 1, Peterson Space Force Base (U.S. Space Force)

***Public tours of Cheyenne Mountain are not available at this time.

Current a/o Oct. 11, 2023.